Saturday, October 14, 2006


Since turning 50, I have been amazed at how many times a day that fact jumps out at me. Turning 50 has brought quite a bit of clarity to me. By that I mean that I have an increased sense of urgency. I want the remaining years of my life to matter more than the first ones have. Unfortunately for me, that means I have to change some things about me that I have actually come to like. I have discovered that some things I have found comfort in, ideas and convictions I have allowed to shape my perception of myself, beliefs that have become identity badges, are actually not biblically supportable, and in a few cases, not even healthy. Here's what I've learned:

Convictions we hold as significant, and from which we derive personal satisfaction, when shown to be biblically unsupportable, will often still remain like stubborn boulders in the heart. This is especially true of those radical extensions of good theology that are allowed to build up our pride. Don’t be surprised if God has to blow them up with the dynamite of humiliation.

By radical extensions of good theology I mean those applications of right thinking that I have allowed to take on the status of biblical absolutes. The fact is, they are not absolute. They may have, at one time, been logical ways to demonstrate biblical truth, but they were never the truth themselves.

This whole pattern of thought has been forced on me by the convergence of two powerful influences that God has brought my way. The first I have already mentioned: my desire to make my remaining years more significant that the first ones have been. But secondly, I have been - in the providence of God - surrounded in my work by a group of young (30 somethings!), bright, biblically grounded, passionate pastoral associates who identify and mock many of my "boulders" as a function of merely showing up to work! One of my biggest boulders is my idea of respect. I think I deserve it, and I think I know the form it should take, and the way it should be afforded to me. But, thanks to their honesty, I have found that what I was really dealing with was wanting to be submitted to, pampered, applauded, looked out for. Out of the biblical principle of honor for authority had come a wrong-headed perception on my part, and it had become a huge boulder in my soul. And, until recently, it wouldn't budge. I got my feelings hurt as a matter of course, and always felt that they were wrong. But now I understand that my hurt was largely because I had misapplied the principle of honoring authority. I wanted to be pampered, and they wanted progress. I wanted them to work for me, and they wanted to work with me for the progress of the Kingdom. For God's work to progress, he having to blow up that boulder, and re-teach me that respect for authority on the one hand must mean a respectable authority on the other hand. When both work together, everyone feels honored, respected, valued, and the Kingdom of God makes progress. And that's just one boulder!

It is humiliating to realize that, at 50, there are still so many lessons to learn, and boulders to remove. But I am committed to removing them, to getting rid of anything that will stand in the way of the Lord working through my life in a way that maximizes His glory, and multiplies my joy. I hope this gives you some desire to start looking at our own field - your heart - and seeing if there might be some demolition work to be done. My advice: blow up the boulders while their small, or better yet . . . don't let them settle in the first place.

Hope this helps,



At 6:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on Brother,
What a pleasure to know that God never stops pricking our hearts.

At 2:11 PM , Blogger Marksbury said...

You're 50?! You don't look a day over 49. ;)

You offer wonderful advice and help here. It is a real blessing seeing God move - thank you for sharing this.

God bless,
Shaun M.

At 8:52 AM , Blogger Sam I am said...

super cool! Thanx for respecting God by your honesty.
When my pastor turned 50 he had similiar desires to make life count...he really amped up his effrots to fulfill what God has called him to. Pastors are cool!

At 9:56 PM , Blogger Genesis 3:15 said...

My dad should probably have read this post.

Anyways, I did not know you were a "hardcore" blogger....(*surprise*shock*)...I found this blog slighltly randomly (if that makes sense).


At 7:14 PM , Blogger Genesis 3:15 said...

no more posts?
you are currently setting a record...


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